Sunday, August 28, 2011

Geographical Determination

Jared Diamond is guilty of geographical determination. The entire book talks about how certain people were lucky enough to live in the places they lived on the map because that had an over advantage over the rest of the world.

He says that European settlers had an advantage in Africa because the Cape of Good Hope (where Europeans first landed) has the similar distance from the equator as Europe did. This gave the European invader an advantage. They were able to grow the same crops that they have been growing in Europe for centuries and raise the same animals they have been raising for centuries. Another example he uses a lot is the way New Guinea was different from Europe. It is on a different Latitude from the rest Europe and wasn't able to grow the same foods as the Europeans. The only native plants they had was bananas. Bananas need a certain type of climate that is completely different from that needed to grow wheat and barley. They also didn’t have the same animals need to help them plow their farms. Those animals couldn't survive on the island, due to the different line of latitude. Finally, he talks about the east-west alignment. Due to this factor, plants and animals from the Middle East could grow and be raised where it shared the same line of latitude. To this day, most plants and animals, that live on that east-west alignment are relatively the same. In conculsion, Diamond is guilty of geographical determination.

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